Stockpiles of pain
Sit heavily on tear-stained chests.
Hearts smoldering for a lifetime
Under the banner of:
Fires are burning, but
far beyond, far deeper than
the images splashed
across television screens.
The stockpiles fanned
again and again,
finally sparked, ignited
In the hearts of
‘Legitimate’ news sources
taken to task
Citizen journalism broadcasting
truths that don't boost ratings.
Ensuring that the world:
And with each heart sparked
to action, to empathy,
another Less Than banner
I felt that it was important for me to share the birth of this poem. The other day I watched an interview between Wolf Blitzer and activist Deray McKesson. And although I pride myself on taking most broadcast news with a grain of salt, this particular interview really got to me for the following reasons: I have lived in Baltimore. I have friends and family in Baltimore. I'm a black woman. And I'm a human being. To blatantly attempt to goad someone into creating the sound bite that you want is not journalism. Trying to coerce someone to condemn the legitimate feelings of the oppressed is not journalism. Those family and friends I told you about? They were posting images and sending tweets about what the majority were doing. Coming together in crowds of hundreds, sometimes thousands to figure out how to bring the peace. How to talk to the children and make this a teachable moment. But, not only was I not seeing this on the news, here was Wolf only wanting to perpetuate the 'If it bleeds it leads' work ethic of the news industry. Angrier than I'd been in a long time, I created and posted the following graphic on Instagram along with the caption that follows it:
Above is what happened after I watched #WolfBlitzer's interview with #DerayMcKesson.
I lived in #Baltimore for 9 months while working on The Wire and what I learned about the people there was that they love their city. They're proud of their city. I shouldn't have to go to social media to get the whole story and to recognize the strong people I remember so well. Especially when people are getting pretty hefty paychecks under the guise of being fair and impartial.
I am in no way condoning the violence or saying that it shouldn't be reported. What I am saying is that if you only tell 1/4 of a story it becomes a tale of fiction based on a partial truth. This systematic grooming of people's minds to believe that people of color, especially poor people of color, are all violent thugs is a problem on the national level. And it's a problem that will never get resolved until we are shown the whole picture. The good and the bad.
To Baltimore...you are more than the picture they are painting. #StayStrong #Rebuild #TeachAndGrow